Located about 20 miles on the eastern side of Ohio’s border is the city of Pittsburgh.
It is a fantastic place worth visiting while exploring the state on a weekend road trip. Pittsburgh is also a fantastic city to visit while you are in Pennsylvania.
Whether you are here for the weekend or staying for a few days, there are many things that you can do while in the city.
For a 21-year-old (or younger), looking for attractions to visit is not a problem.
Museums, swanky shopping spots, and fantastic architecture dot the city.
Pittsburgh is one of those American cities that is great to visit.
Here, I collated 11 of the best things you can do while in Pittsburgh.
Whether for a weekend getaway or a few days of vacation, the city is worth it.
I hope this list makes it easy for you to explore the city.
List of Contents
1. Carnegie Science Center
Situated right on the shoreline of the Ohio River is the Carnegie Science Center. Visiting the science center is one of the best things you can do in Pittsburgh with family and friends.
Here, you can learn about science in the most extraordinary way possible. Reform the world of artificial intelligence to process and science behind food production, and the center can educate while making sure to entertain.
The experience and learning you get here are all-encompassing.
Inside the science, cenTer is a collection of robots and a horde of hands-on and interactive displays. You can also visit the OmniMax theater or visit the sports center where you can test your endurance at rock climbing.
There is also a zip line here. You can try that out.
2. The Duquesne Incline
There are two uphill trolleys in Pittsburgh. The Duquesne Incline is one of these two.
The Incline has been carting guests and tourists to Mount Washington since about the 1870s. It fell on hard times. But after these challenging years, there was a restoration done on the Duquesne Incline in 1963.
The trolley brings you to a vantage point of Mount Washington that is perfect for a beautiful view. It brings you directly above the spot where the three rivers of Pittsburgh collide.
The spot provides you with a view of a viewing platform that extends over the cliff. And on days with good weather, you can take some fantastic photos from this spot.
But while the spot is fantastic, some visitors suggest visiting at night.
For some visitors, the Incline at night provides a perfect view of the illuminated city below. Plus, during nighttime, the Incline can be less crowded.
But no matter what time you come here, the view is fantastic.
Once done admiring the view, you can check out the small museum in the area. The museum provides you with some facts on the history of Pittsburgh. There are also photos from years past and a souvenir shop where you can buy gifts.
At the upper station, there are restaurants to keep your belly full. But watch out because most travelers say the prices can be too much.
If the restaurant prices bother you, skip the restaurants. You can head over to downtown Pittsburgh and grab a bite to eat.
3. Carnegie Museum of Art
The most dynamic is perhaps the Carnegie Museum of Art when it comes to museums.
It is a contemporary art museum that houses a collection of more than 30,000 art pieces from a broad spectrum of art forms. The displays range from paintings to sculptures to decorative arts. There are also films, videos, and a lot more.
The museum plays a vital role in the world of arts and artists. It e plowed the part of the artists in society. It also confronts social issues through its wide range of permanent and temporary exhibits.
Aside from exhibits, it also has a wide array of programming and publications visitors can check out.
A wide array of programs are available for visitors of all ages and levels. There are workshops, classes, and docent-led tours. There are also community-based education programs visitors can join.
Aside from the Carnegie Museum of Art, there is also the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
The museum aims to inspire and educate its visitors about the natural world and the different human cultures.
Situated on Forbes Avenue in the neighborhood of Oakland, the museum pays tribute to its founder, Andrew Carnegie.
It also ranks as one of the five best natural history museums in the US.
When in Pittsburgh, visiting the Carnegie Museum of Natural History is one of the best things that you can do.
It has 20 galleries containing 10,000 specimens on display. Its online databases in its extensive research library contain more than 20 million specimens.
The museum hosted exhibitions over the past years, including the world-renowned “Dinosaurs in Their Time.” Such an exhibition presented the world’s third-largest collection of mounted dinosaurs.
The museum also provides a wide range of educational and community-based outreach programs. You can check out their website for more updates on these programs.
4. Cathedral of Learning
A few minutes away from Schenley Park is the Cathedral of Learning.
The attraction is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. As you can see, the building is a gothic revival that stands about 42 stories high. Aside from its all-imposing structure, it is beautiful.
Please join the Nationality Room tours if you have enough time to explore. It takes place on specific schedules all through the year.
These tours are excellent ways to learn about the world we live in. It teaches about cultures, diversity, and a whole lot more.
Right after, you can check out the Heinz Memorial Chapel nearby. The chapel is exquisite!
5. Strip District
It used to be an industrial neighborhood in some quaint city corner.
Now, the place is teeming with restaurants, international markets, museums, and a horde of shops to visit.
The Strip District runs along the Allegheny River. It is only half a square mile. But despite its size, it has several attractions and dining options to fill up your day (and your belly).
When in The Strip District, grab some French fry-topped sandwiches. You can get them at the Primanti Brothers.
Have breakfast at Deluca’s Diner. Or get those tasty pancakes from Pamela’s P&G Diner.
There are no national chain restaurants here. Most of the establishments are family-owned, giving the neighborhood its authentic charm.
And if you are on the lookout for new ingredients, you can explore the markets like the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company for your Italian dishes. If you are into Asian cooking, the WFH Oriental Food Market is perfect.
Reyna Foods is perfect for your Ingredients for Mexican dishes. And so, if you are planning on making some burritos, tamales, or empanadas tonight, this is where you go for groceries.
The Strip District comes with a wide array of influences from different cultures. It is because, in the past, this was an immigrant neighborhood.
Immigrants flocked to this neighborhood during the 19th century. The ideal position of the community along the river made it a perfect spot for immigrants.
There were also many opportunities like jobs at iron mills, steel factories, and glass factories in the past.
If you want to learn about the neighborhood, you can visit the Heinz History Center. It is an institution that has documented Pittsburgh for the past two centuries.
It is also home to several great theaters and art galleries. You can find here Contemporary Craft that shows off contemporary art with an emphasis on cultural diversity.
And if you are in the best mood for shopping, swing by Roxanne’s Dried Flowers. Here, you will find many soaps, pottery, aromatherapy candles, plants, and floral arrangements.
Those who love designing can go through several home furniture at Hot Haute Hot. Pittsburgh Steelers fans can also get the “Terrible Towel” at Yinzers in the Burgh store.
The Strip District sees a lot of crowds during mornings and afternoons. It is during these times that people go out for breakfast or lunch.
It may also take a while to find famous spots here. But when you see them, it is all worth it.
Or, if you can, try visiting on a weekday. There should be fewer people compared to weekends.
6. The National Aviary
On the northern side of Pittsburgh lies the National Aviary. It is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the US and houses more than 500 birds belonging to 150 bird species from all over the planet.
Several of these bird species are already endangered.
Visitors can enjoy the aviary’s extensive exhibits. There are primarily interactive exhibits where guests can stroll through a path for an intimate interaction with free-flying birds.
Visiting the aviary provides its guests with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hand feed and meet up close to several bird species.
If you have kids or even teens, the aviary is an excellent place to visit in Pittsburgh. The National Aviary is also home to the Department of Conservation and Field Research, which looks into the impact of humans on birds and the environment.
Aside from the interactive activities, several educational programs are suited for learners of all ages. These activities include field trips, summer camps, and workshops.
7. Point State Park
Located at the edge of downtown Pittsburgh is Point State Park. And yes, the attraction is also a great place to visit. The location is also an ideal destination, especially if all you want is to take an afternoon stroll.
While in the area, you can also check the Fort Pitt Museum and learn more about the history of the British Fort.
According to stories, the Fort dates back to the 1700s.
And while visiting, you can also swing by the river and enjoy stunning views of the 150-foot mountain. This place is also where Pittsburgh’s three rivers meet.
8. Senator John Heinz’s History
The Senator John Heinz History Museum is not your typical museum. Yes, there are exhibits like all the other museums. These exhibits display the role of Pittsburgh in the French and Indian Wars.
But aside from that, the museum also has displays about the Western Pennsylvania Sports. It shows the football and baseball legacies of the city.
And the most notable of all is the exhibit relating to Heinz Ketchup and its other products.
Most of its visitors comment on the vast array of displays in the museum. They also mention that they would always leave feeling happy having known a little bit more about the city of Pittsburgh.
Most travelers also find the sensible layout helpful. The museum has an organized approach which makes it easier for guests to navigate.
9. Frick Art & Historical Center
The Frick Art & Historical Center in the East End of Pittsburgh is a great way to learn more about the city’s Gilded Age.
The Historical Center has a curated collection of fine and decorative art pieces. There are artifacts, vintage cars, and several carriages.
Donated by Helen Clay Frick, the Historical Center boasts an art museum, an admirable fine art collection, and an extensive house museum. These offer visitors an intimate glimpse of the Frick family’s lives 100 years ago.
And finally, there is the Car and a Carriage Museum. The museum houses the family’s collection of cars and carriages. It also touches on auto enthusiasts and manufacturers from a century ago.
Perhaps this spot would remind you of London.
The whole Randyland vicinity is a quaint reminder of how diverse, creative, and artsy Pittsburgh is.
Randyland gives out that London vibe.
It has public art displays. It has colorful and vibrant buildings. And Randyland is a few steps away from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.
Randyland is a small place. It is perfect for when you need a little time off from the city hustle.
11. Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is famous mainly as a location for weddings and other important events. It is also common to find some stressed undergrads whiling away their time here as it is about a short walk away from two universities.
But aside from these two, the conservatory offers its visitors a lot more.
When inside, you can check out the vast collection of green rooms. Each green space focuses on either a specific region or a plant type.
The conservatory is home to anything and everything.
It has tropical forests, butterfly gardens, bonsai, Joshua trees, and orchid plants. It also has an extensive collection of flowers.
At the entrance is a small shop and cafe where you can sit down, have your caffeine fix, and relax.
It is also great for families.
The conservatory provides its visitors with many hands-on and interactive activities for children.
There is an admission fee which may look like much. But several visitors think that the steep price is also worth it.
Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in Pennsylvania.
It is a great weekend destination. Aside from being an excellent destination for weekends, it is also a great place to visit for vacations.
The city is full of museums, scenic parks, and free attractions. It is also rife with excellent dining options and unique wedding venues. Plus, the city has a fantastic performing arts scene.